Apple Music for Android adds animated covers, prepares lossless music streaming
There have been reports we may see AirPods 3 on May 18, the same day Google kicks off I/O. Now, new evidence has emerged suggesting the launch of Apple Music HiFi is imminent, which would pair nicely with the release of new wireless earbuds.
9to5Google did an APK teardown of Apple Music for Android and found references to the introduction of lossless audio. The new feature will join current options that include “higher quality” audio and “reduced data usage.” In addition to releasing for Android, Apple Music HiFi is also expected to be available on iOS, possibly in iOS 14.6.
Apparently, Apple includes a warning for anyone who decides to stream Apple Music HiFi:
Lossless audio files preserve every detail of the original file. Turning this on will consume significantly more data.
Lossless audio files will use significantly more space on your device. 10 GB of space could store approximately: – 3000 songs at high quality – 1000 songs with lossless – 200 songs with hi-res lossless
Lossless streaming will consume significantly more data. A 3-minute song will be approximately: – 1.5 MB with high efficiency- 6 MB with high quality at 256 kbps- 36 MB with lossless at 24-bit/48 kHz- 145 MB with hi-res lossless at 24-bit/192 kHzSupport varies and depends on song availability, network conditions, and connected speaker or headphone capability.
9to5Google points out that in a recent iOS 14.6 beta, there were references to Dolby Atmos and Dolby Audio, but the Android app only mentions lossless audio, “with no signs of Dolby integration.”
“More specifically, Apple Music for Android is set to offer two varieties of high-fidelity audio streaming/downloading, ‘Lossless’ and ‘High-Res Lossless,’” 9to5Google said.
The code discovered in the Android app reveals the two choices for lossless playback:
ALAC up to 24-bit/48 kHz
ALAC up to 24-bit/192 kHz
If true, Apple Music will finally match what’s available on services like Tidal and Amazon Music HD; Spotify is also planning to introduce a Hifi plan later this year. If Apple Music HiFi does become available, it’ll pair nicely with its AirPods Max (and the aforementioned AirPods 3).
Additionally, a post on Reddit reveals Apple Music is getting animated covers on Android — at least in beta. When you click on a playlist or artists, users will now see more dynamic album art that plays like a GIF. It’s not a major addition to the service, but it makes it feel a little more premium.
Of course, none of these features have been confirmed, but evidence of their existence continues to mount. We may see an announcement via press release as early as May 18, so it may not be long until we know more.